Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CENFOR Report Summary

Project ID: 340227
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Switzerland

Mid-Term Report Summary - CENFOR (Dissecting the mechanisms governing centriole formation)

We initiated an ambitious research program aimed at dissecting the mechanisms underlying the assembly of the centriole, a minute but fundamental organelle that is key notably for cell signalling, cell motility and cell division. The centriole exhibits a striking nine-fold radial symmetry of microtubules and is thought to assemble around a cartwheel structure with likewise symmetry and comprised of stacks of rings made of SAS-6 proteins. Major progress in the first half of the funding period has been made in three projects. First, in collaboration with others, we altered the symmetry imparted by SAS-6 proteins using rational engineering and assayed the consequences of such manipulations in cells. Our findings indicate that whereas SAS-6 proteins play a major role in determining centriole symmetry, other factors, most likely peripheral microtubules, are important as well. Second, also in collaboration with others, we uncovered the mechanisms through which the protein CPAP/HsSAS-4 limits the growth of microtubules in human cells, thus shedding critical light on the mechanisms through which centriole organelle size is achieved. Third, we developed a cell-free reconstitution assay for cartwheel formation. Using this assay, we demonstrated that SAS-6 proteins possess intrinsic information that not only allows them to assemble rings, but also to stack with the proper spacing to form a cartwheel-like three-dimensional assembly. Moreover, we developed a simple effective mathematical model that accounts for how vertical stacking of SAS-6 rings might be achieved.

Reported by

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top